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Altai – the boundary of Central Asia and Siberia

Altai is mountain system located at the junction of Central Asia and Siberia. Mountains are located in the territory of four countries: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakh­stan and small part of China. It is accepted to distinguish Russian, Mongolian and Kazakh (Kazakhstan) Altai. At the border of Russia, Mongolia and China there is the largest frozen mountain junction of Altai which links Russian, Kazakh and Mongolian Altai together. Mongols call it Tavan-Bogdo-Uul (Five sacred mountains).

There is the second by height top of whole Altai and the highest in Mon­golian Altai. It has two names. One is national name — Kuyten-Uul (Cold mountain), and another literally name is Nairamdal (Friendship). According to available data, ab­solute altitude of this top is 4374 metres. Long since Altai drew attention of many researchers. From the middle of XVIII century in the west of highland people are engaged in exploration of minerals, es­pecially gold and silver. Altay region were visited by Alfred Bram — well-known German zoologist, the author of multivolume encyclopedia «Animals’ Life».

Altai – the boundary of Central Asia and Siberia

Rough mountain Rivers of Altai are rich in fish. The Rivers related to Irtysh and Ob basins are the deepest ones. Among the Lakes of Russian Altai the most remark­able is TeletskyLake located in the ChulyshmanRiver valley. Its length is 73 kilome­tres, the greatest width — 5,2 kilometres, the area — about 231 square kilometres, the maximum depth reaches 325 metres. It is very beautiful and attracts many tourists. Very large tectonic Lakes are located at northeast foot of Mongolian Altai. Among them the biggest Lake is Khara-Us-Nur which area is about 1500 square kilometres. Markakol is the biggest mountainLake in Altai and is located in Southern Altai in intra-mountain hollow at the foot of southeast slope of Kurchumsky range. The Lake is located at absolute height of 1447 metres, its area is 455 square kilometres and depth reaches 27 metres. It is very cold in a Lake hollow in winter: average air temperature in January is -26°C, and reported absolute temperature minimum is -53°C. MarkakolLake is immensely beautiful in all seasons.

Rough mountain Rivers of Altai are rich in fish. The Rivers related to Irtysh and Ob basins are the deepest ones. Among the Lakes of Russian Altai the most remark­able is TeletskyLake located in the ChulyshmanRiver valley. Its length is 73 kilome­tres, the greatest width — 5,2 kilometres, the area — about 231 square kilometres, the maximum depth reaches 325 metres. It is very beautiful and attracts many tourists. Very large tectonic Lakes are located at northeast foot of Mongolian Altai. Among them the biggest Lake is Khara-Us-Nur which area is about 1500 square kilometres. Markakol is the biggest mountainLake in Altai and is located in Southern Altai in intra-mountain hollow at the foot of southeast slope of Kurchumsky range. The Lake is located at absolute height of 1447 metres, its area is 455 square kilometres and depth reaches 27 metres. It is very cold in a Lake hollow in winter: average air temperature in January is -26°C, and reported absolute temperature minimum is -53°C. MarkakolLake is immensely beautiful in all seasons.

Altai – the boundary of Central Asia and Siberia

The fauna of Altai is similar to Siberian fauna: it is a habitat of wild boars, lynxes, brown bears, elks and roe. Rocky Mountains is the habitat of mountain goats and flat slopes of wild rams. Objects of fur craft are sables, wolverines, Siberian weasels, er­mines and least weasels. Otters and American minks inhabit Rivers banks. Marals which are bred within fenced wood spaces are widespread there. Extract from cut off marals’ horns is used for preparation of valuable pantocrine drug, widely used in medicine.

Avifauna of Altai is very rich. Wood-grouses, black grouses, hazel grouses, wood­peckers, ouzels, bullfinches, lentils, siskins, buntings and black storks are found in mountain taiga. Higher than 2000 metres above sea level there are rubythroats, red­polls, brown chiffchaffs, partridges, Altai snowcocks, mountain finchs and martins. Golden eagles and saker falcons soar over mountain tops. Valuable kinds of fishes are found in the Rivers and Lakes, they are grayling, lenok and taimen.

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